Chapter 350. Determination (1)
Translator: Aura / Editor: SaWarren
If he had given it to me privately, I would have rejected it immediately because it was a bribe. But since it was a gift given at an official event for an official reason, it was difficult to refuse. It would be impolite to do so in a place like this.
… maybe that’s why he gave me the gift now.
Besides, that the gift to the Western Empire were ships, which had no ports, made their intention clear. This gift itself could only be used if the relationship between the two countries was restored.
I accepted the gift with a smile.
But it seemed impolite to leave at once, so I thought about it for a moment and gave him some advice,
“I know why you want us to sign a non-invasion pact, but that would be a unilateral pact that would tie us hand and foot.”
“How could that be possible? The Western Empire is a powerful country that can speak with dignity even if it breaks the pact, but Whitemond is a small country that wouldn’t dare to invade the Western Empire even if a pact is not signed.”
“But didn’t Whitemond arrest our trade team?”
“Of course it wasn’t an invasion. However, we appreciate our people as much as Whitemond does.”
“I don’t understand what Your Majesty means.”
“If we sign a non-invasion pact, Whitemond should also sign a similar pact. That way you can’t attack our people who use the port like you did at that time.”
After the special ambassador went somewhere else deep in thought. I went to find Heinley to tell him about this. But Heinley was nowhere to be found. Wasn’t he talking to Grand Duke Lilteang near the musicians?
In the end, I asked the servants passing by so I could find him, “Have you seen His Majesty Heinley?”
Although there were many people to talk to, I wanted to tell Heinley about the conversation I had had with the special ambassador as soon as possible.
But before I could find Heinley, I heard a commotion.
What is going on?
The commotion came from the garden on the veranda. I saw that people gathered there to see what was going on.
When I approached the commotion, I saw a little boy drowning in the pond as a maid desperately tried to pull the boy out.
A man and a woman, who appeared to be the little boy’s parents, cried out in tears… The Duke and Duchess Zemensia? So Old Duke Zemensia’s grandson was the one who fell into the pond?
Eventually, the maid managed to pull the boy out of the pond. The maid was so exhausted that she collapsed.
“Get the palace doctor! Quick!”
Duke Zemensia shouted loudly, while the Duchess approached her son to check on him. Some servants rushed out to call the palace doctor.
Then Duke Zemensia pointed to one person and exclaimed in an angry voice,
“He pushed my son!”
The person he pointed to was Grand Duke Lilteang.
What is going on…?
Grand Duke Lilteang was not in the crowd, but he shouted indignantly as he was pointed out.
“What did I do?!”
“I saw it with my own eyes! You pushed my son when you walked past him!”
“That is a false accusation!”
“It isn’t! Emperor Heinley saw it too!”
Wasn’t Heinley with Grand Duke Lilteang? How was he with Duke Zemensia when the incident occurred?
People’s gaze that was on Grand Duke Lilteang and Duke Zemensia now wandered in search of Heinley.
Curiously, Heinley was not far from Duke Zemensia.
When the crowd’s gaze settled on Heinley, he nodded with an expression of deep regret.
“I saw it too, Grand Duke Lilteang.”
After Christa’s suicide, the Zemensia Family had been shunned by high society, but remained a part of the Western Empire.
However, most of the Western Empire always sided with their own high-status nobles in conflicts with other countries.
For that reason, upon hearing that Grand Duke Lilteang of the Eastern Empire had pushed a child of the Western Empire into the pond, people’s eyes turned cold and fierce.
“That’s not true!”
Grand Duke Lilteang shouted. The atmosphere around him became so gloomy that he flinched and hurriedly fled in fear.
“Catch the Grand Duke Lilteang.”
Fortunately, this place was located in the imperial palace, so there were knights stationed around to act in situations like this.
At Heinley’s words, Grand Duke Lilteang could not even take five steps before he was caught.
Although he was not forcibly held by the arms or forced to kneel out of consideration for his status, the Grand Duke had no choice but to stop because he was surrounded by burly knights.
Duchess Zemensia’s cry resounded everywhere like lightning. Heinley ordered without hesitation to take Grand Duke Lilteang to the Moon Hall.
Once the palace doctor arrived to attend to Old Duke Zemensia’s grandson, I also went to the Moon Hall.
Concerned about the chaotic situation, Mastas, Viscount Langdel, and Countess Jubel were quick to follow me.
“How could he push a child into the pond?! What a wicked man.”
Mastas looked indignant as we walked through the corridors. Although she also detested the Zemensia Family, she put the honor of the Western Empire above all else, so she was very angry with Grand Duke Lilteang.
In contrast, Viscount Langdel did not express his anger with vehemence, but maintained a serious expression.
Countess Jubel was annoyed by the Grand Duke’s reckless behavior, rather than the danger to Duke Zemensia’s son.
“He caused another problem again. He used to cause problems with his words, but this time he did it with his own hands.”
Since the Imperial Family had few members, there was often no choice but to send Grand Duke Lilteang as the ‘representative of the Imperial Family of the Eastern Empire’.
Generally, there were no problems. Grand Duke Lilteang desires power, so he is more careful with his actions.
However, the Grand Duke couldn’t hide his hostility once he disliked someone, so he tries to unleash it by any means.
Like he did when I was the Empress of the Eastern Empire. He changed his plan as soon as Rashta appeared, he stopped trying to bribe me and went directly against me.
Perhaps that was why Countess Jubel was not at all surprised that Grand Duke Lilteang had caused a serious problem.
In the past, Grand Duke Lilteang had been publicly shamed by Old Duke Zemensia for talking nonsense.
Before I knew it, we arrived in front of the Moon Hall. However, the door was tightly closed and four knights guarded it.
Among the knights was Rose’s brother, Sir Yunim, who asked me carefully when he saw me,
“Would you like me to tell the Emperor that Your Majesty is here?”
His attitude was very kind compared to the rude way he used to treat me.
Countess Jubel, Mastas, and Viscount Langdel looked at me at the same time. They seemed to wait for my answer.
When all was quiet, faint cries of despair could be heard on the other side of the door. It was the voice of Grand Duke Lilteang.
After a moment’s consideration, I changed my mind.
“Don’t worry. When he is done with his business, tell him I’ll wait for him in my room.”